Pence: Inaction on healthcare ‘not an option’

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Vice President Pence urged Senate Republicans on Tuesday to move swiftly on healthcare reform, saying that “inaction is not an option.”

Speaking at the Retail Advocates Summit in Washington, Pence said that GOP lawmakers in the Senate should either approve a measure plainly repealing the Affordable Care Act or should reconsider Senate Republican leaders’ existing healthcare measure. 

“The Senate should vote to repeal now and replace later, or return to the legislation carefully crafted in the House and Senate,” he said. “But either way, inaction is not an option. Congress needs to step up. Congress needs to do their job, and Congress needs to do their job now.”

A bill crafted by Senate Republican leaders to repeal and replace large parts of ObamaCare effectively died on Monday after two key GOP lawmakers said they would not back the measure. 

Sens. Jerry MoranJerry MoranPence: Inaction on healthcare ‘not an option’ Trump says he’ll ‘let ObamaCare fail’ Hugh Hewitt invokes ‘Game of Thrones’ listing ‘doomed’ GOP healthcare defectors MORE (R-Kan.) and Mike LeeMike LeeGive this Congress an opportunity to cleanly repeal ObamaCare Pence: Inaction on healthcare ‘not an option’ Trump says he’ll ‘let ObamaCare fail’ MORE (R-Utah) joined Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsMcConnell says ObamaCare repeal vote will come ‘sometime in the near future’ Pence: Inaction on healthcare ‘not an option’ Dem leaders amp up calls for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes MORE (R-Maine) and Rand PaulRand PaulGive this Congress an opportunity to cleanly repeal ObamaCare Pence: Inaction on healthcare ‘not an option’ Hugh Hewitt invokes ‘Game of Thrones’ listing ‘doomed’ GOP healthcare defectors MORE (R-Ky.) in announcing their opposition to the bill, which could only afford two Republican defections in order to pass with a tie-breaking vote from Pence. 

President Trump, frustrated with the lack of support for the Senate bill, urged lawmakers on Monday to pass a measure simply repealing ObamaCare, rather than trying to simultaneously replace the law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMurphy: If ObamaCare dies, Trump is ‘sole executioner’ McConnell says ObamaCare repeal vote will come ‘sometime in the near future’ Give this Congress an opportunity to cleanly repeal ObamaCare MORE (R-Ky.) backed that idea but quickly faced opposition on Tuesday from some Senate Republicans, effectively killing the proposal.

Pence, however, threw his support behind the repeal measure on Tuesday. The Senate passed such a measure in 2015 and should do so once again, he said.

“President Trump and I fully support the majority leader’s decision to move forward with a bill that just repeals ObamaCare and gives Congress time, as the president said, to work on a new healthcare plan that will start with a clean slate,” he said.

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Pence: Inaction on healthcare ‘not an option’

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